I am grateful to be your pastor. One of my favorite moments is simply sitting in my new office, sipping coffee, crafting meaningful messages (or attempting to!) However, one day, while enjoying my little haven, I received an unexpected knock on the door. It was a dear friend from Canyon Springs. I wondered why he had come. Did he have a profound spiritual question? Was he struggling with his family relationships? Was he torn between which quarterback to start for his fantasy football league? As it turned out, it was none of those. In the next 15 minutes, he shared with me a mistake he had made and considered the worst thing he had ever done. Although many years had passed, the consequences of his actions still weighed heavily upon him.

At that moment, I felt his pain. I also felt privileged that he saw me as a safe place to open his heart. The following week, I had two similar experiences with friends from Canyon Springs, and each conversation was just as heavy and painful as the last. When I spoke to my pastoral coach about it, he told me that conversations of that magnitude could be expected to happen every three years or so. I had three in just one week!

As complex and challenging as those conversations were, they showed that God is actively working in our church. There is no doubt that something extraordinary is happening. We can all feel the palpable energy on Sundays. Spiritual growth is taking place. People are healing, free from their spiritual pain, and giving their lives to Jesus.

This is what our church is all about!

We are a home for the hurting, a hospital for the sick, and an ambulance for the needy.

We all need the love and grace of Jesus, and thankfully, we have a community where we can come together and find it. Our vision has stayed the same. It’s about the One.

What you are experiencing on Sundays is just the beginning! I’m excited about our vision for 2024, but before we get there, I want to take a moment to express my deepest gratitude.

THANK YOU for remaining steadfast through all the changes and transitions.

THANK YOU for having faith in me and our staff, imperfect leaders of our church.

THANK YOU for your countless hours volunteering at Canyon Springs and your commitment to missional opportunities.

THANK YOU for your generous financial giving and support of the mission of Canyon Springs.

Our staff has a powerful vision for how we can make a lasting impact on San Diego and the world. Imagine a 2024 where Canyon Springs is known in our community for making a tangible difference in our own backyard. Picture our facility being utilized for ministry every single day of the week. Envision holding Al-Anon meetings at our church building, providing support and love to parents and spouses of people with an addiction. Visualize worship nights where spiritual growth and healing occur and the Holy Spirit moves mightily among us. Picture a Sunday where we gather briefly at the church to pray together, and then every single person goes out to engage in missional activities throughout San Diego. Imagine having a collection bin at church where you can donate old shoes and clothes, knowing the donated items will be distributed to a local ministry serving people experiencing homelessness and those in need. This vision is what we are actively pursuing. These are just a few goals we aim for in 2024. Will you join us?

As we navigate transitions in our ministries, we are approaching year-end with a deficit of $100,000 due to giving shortfalls, expense increases, and one-time costs related to staffing changes. We are at a natural time of year when our focus begins to shift toward wrapping up the year well. A significant amount of giving comes in around December. We just came through a very successful transformation initiative, and you guys have been awesome. And this is just another option for us to exercise generosity in this church. God has given us a powerful vision. Make no mistake that ending 2023 with strength enables us to tackle those things in the new year.

Therefore, we humbly request our church community to partner with us to erase that deficit so we can start 2024 on a solid foundation and accomplish the tasks that God has set before us.

2024 could be one of the most impactful years in the history of Canyon Springs. We are uniquely positioned to make a real difference in San Diego and the world. Will you join us and partner with us to finish this year strong?

Thank you for joining God through Canyon Springs to make a difference. I ask you to consider making a year-end gift to support what God is doing in our church. You can use our secure online giving page at www.canyonsprings.org/give. Once again, thank you for all that you do at this church. We are praying for you and your family during this season.

Pastor Chad Richards